Sub-documents – what are they? How can they be useful?

Sub-documents – what are they?

These are document excerpts that you can insert as blocks into an existing file. Such a block should previously be saved as a regular document. Sub-documents can be used for the parts that rarely get changed.

Sub-documents application

When can you use them? See for yourself:

  • a library of standard parts (e.g. valuation survey)
  • description of a town/district (e.g. in real estate reports)
  • lists of norms, directives or regulations (e.g. technical descriptions)
  • all sorts of agreements (e.g. notarial deeds)
  • glossaries

How about variables?

A block like that may contain variables itself. When you connect it with the main document, the variables also get added to the list of variables from the main file.

Sub-documents: the advantages

1. They save lots of time.

You don’t have to browse through the whole drive to find a text file that you need. All it takes is selecting the right sub-document. Then, insert it to the main file. Easy, isn’t it?

2. No mistakes.

The copy and paste method may seem fine. Don’t forget it means a huge risk of mistakes, while transfering data between documents. One time, you click the wrong thing, the other time something does not transfer….And if you used sub-documents you wouldn’t have to worry about it.

3. They retain the format of the old document.

Wrong font? Pictures get unclear? Table is no longer legible? Use sub-documents and don’t worry about it. The content from the other document would be transferred to the main file, keeping the previous format.

Document form

The methods described above are not the only ones that allow to insert a sub-document. You can also insert sub-documents using the Document form option. See how to do it.


This will work only when you connect a data source to Autom:

  • libraries,
  • clouds (either One Drive or Google Drive).

If there are no data sources connected to Autom, you will have to insert the sub-documents manually.

Working with sub-documents

1. Open the Document form.

2. A window appears. Click Parts.

3. A list of sub-documents to choose from appears.

4. Click the chosen name and hit OK.

5. The sub-document appears in the main file.

Looking to modify something inside the sub-document? How about adding a new element to the sub-document? Don’t waste your time introducing changes to the basic file and updating it later. Below, you may see how you can edit chosen sub-document parts, without closing the main file.

Editing sub-documents

Can you edit sub-documents, without closing the main file? Let’s see.

1. We modify some parts of the sub-document.

2. Oh, something went wrong! Changes won’t appear.

The good news is, you don’t have to look for a source file of the sub-document. See what you could do instead.

Changing the sub-document content without leaving Autom

What we’re going to show you is nothing else than changing the sub-document into a regular file. Remember that if you remove the dynamic form, the document will lose all its dynamic options.

1. Select the element you want to modify.

2. Open the Autom tab. Hit the Delete button.

3. A pop-up window appears.

What are these options for?

remove all occurences – the application removes all occurences of the certain part in the document

remove content – removes the whole content

remove Autom element – removes variables

How to change a sub-document into regular content?

Don’t choose any option. Just click OK.

Removing the dynamic form

1. Open Autom task pane. Hit the Library tab.

2. Double-click the file name on the list.

3. The document appears in a new window.

4. Enter new content. Save it.

5. Go back to the main file. Hit the Update tab.

6. The sub-document gets updated.

Sub-documents – their advantages

Sub-documents are extremely useful. You can use them for a quick and easy content management in your file. No more time wasted on manual content entering. Autom will do it for you!